Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 13 review

The looks won't be everybody's cup of tea, but this latest ThinkPad is cheap and eminently sensible

5
Price when reviewed 
469
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Page 1 of 2 Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 13 review

Lenovo's ThinkPads have long been synonymous with seriousness and practicality, but the latest addition to the range dares to buck the monochromatic trend. The bold, "heatwave" red version of the ThinkPad Edge 13 will have ThinkPad purists choking on their coffee.

A glance at the price will be enough to put the smile back on anyone's face, however, as will a quick play with the device. It's the firm's most practical and sensible foray yet into the realms of the affordable ultraportable. It weighs a very reasonable 1.77kg, and the build suggests a laptop that's genuinely been designed to survive a life on the road.

The base is reassuringly stiff and solid, and while the lid won't win any awards for its slimline allure - one cruel member of PC Pro remarked that it looked rather like a cafeteria tea tray - we had to really prod at it before it caused any showthrough on the display itself. Some will take exception to the red lid of our review model, but it's possible to opt for a slinky gloss black or sober matte black model instead.

The Scrabble-tile keyboard looks nigh-on identical to that of the superb ThinkPad X100e, and in use it feels just as good to type on. The keys have a wonderfully crisp action, each one bounding back to its original position ready for the next keystroke, and the layout borders on perfection. The trackpad and trackpoint combination is as good as ever, with a huge, wide trackpad making the most of the extra space on offer.

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 13 keyboard

The model we received for review (part code: NUE6WUK) is powered by an AMD Turion Neo X2 L625. Although you can specify the Edge 13 with an Intel processor, the 1.6GHz dual-core CPU here (coupled with 4GB of memory) is more than enough to keep Windows 7 Professional 64-bit running smoothly. A result of 0.71 in our application-based benchmarks puts it on level pegging with Intel's efforts, and the ATI HD 3200 graphics chipset even has enough oomph to cope with HD video playback and light gaming.

One thing we noticed during the course of our testing, though, is that the base of the laptop, just like the X100e, has a tendency to get rather toasty. Performance isn't an issue for the AMD processor but keeping cool certainly is; the noisy cooling fan spins with annoying regularity.

Page 1 of 2 Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 13 review

Warranty

Warranty1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions322 x 228 x 25mm (WDH)
Weight1.770kg
Travelling weight2.2kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorAMD Turion Neo X2 L625
Motherboard chipsetAMD 780G
RAM capacity4.00GB
Memory typeDDR2
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal1,366
Resolution screen vertical768
Resolution1366 x 768
Graphics chipsetATI Radeon HD 3200
Graphics card RAM256MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0

Drives

Capacity320GB
Hard disk usable capacity299GB
Spindle speed5,400RPM
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Hard diskFujitsu MJA2320BH
Optical disc technologynone
Optical drivenone
Battery capacity6,300mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0

Networking

Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a supportno
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno
Bluetooth supportyes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchno
Wireless key-combination switchyes
Modemno
ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)3
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks1
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readeryes
MMC (multimedia card) readerno
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readerno
Pointing device typeTouchpad, trackpoint
Audio chipsetConexant SmartAudio HD
Speaker locationFront edge
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating0.3mp
TPMno
Fingerprint readerno
Smartcard readerno
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use5hr 59min
Overall application benchmark score0.71
Office application benchmark score0.72
2D graphics application benchmark score0.79
Encoding application benchmark score0.63
Multitasking application benchmark score0.70
3D performance (crysis) low settings14fps
3D performance settingLow

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Professional 64-bit
OS familyWindows 7
Recovery methodRecovery partition, burn own recovery discs
Software suppliedLenovo ThinkVantage Suite

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